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how to dry wood


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I know you are full of wild and outrageous ideas, that's a great thing and will fuel your building for years to come. Don't lose that.

But: You'll learn, either the hard and expensive way, or the more gradual and softer way, that there really are Much better, more recommended places to start your journey.

It's kind of like you are backing yourself up against the hardest tree you can find to start off with. Really not the best idea...but you'll learn a lot! B) (but it will more than likely be an expensive lesson)

Buying green (wet) Redwood and wanting to instantly build something out of it is about the Worst way to start off building guitars I can think of.

The biggest lesson I've learned since I started building...is...get this...

PATIENCE!!!!!!!! :D

I have f*ucked up so many bodies, so many finishes, so many everythings, because I was always in too much of a hurry.

Now, under the right circumstances, you CAN build in a hurry. Like using a hunk of Alder or Mahogony, maybe a Birdseye top...standard woods that lots of people have and that work pretty easily, almost goof-proof woods. That's the best way to guarantee that your first project will actually come out a winner, an intonatable, playable, stable instrument.

...but buying green redwood ain't it my compadre... :D

I just can't see you buying this Redwood and sitting on it for 2 years, which is what you need to do.

And to dry wood out, there are proper ways to go about it. If you must use Redwood (I wouldn't for starting out) ...then make sure it is FULLY DRIED first, 'cause I just don't think you're gonna let it sit around for a year or better.

The rule is 1 inch per year for natural drying. There are ways to speed the drying up at home, like building a drying box with a light-bulb or two inside (and even that will only speed things up but so much, and it has it's own dangers), but do you really want to exert all that energy building a drying box when you could go right to building a guitar instead?

My only recommendation would be this: if you want to go down the Redwood path, I hope you have NO temper at all, are not subject to frustration, and can shrug off failures without batting an eye and just keep moving. If you are -that- easy-going, then go ahead and give it a shot. Most folks aren't.

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yeah good advice.you can't carve the wood until it is dry.it needs to be completely dried before you can plane it back flat.(it will move while drying).if you have to buy this wood,wax the end grain and set it up in your closet or something and forget about it while it dries.it will take you the 2 years to gain the experienceto feel competent enough to use it

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i believe my grandpa has been sitting on both some redwood and mahogony for over 17 years now. he said he had something in mind for it, which is why i couldn't steal a piece of the mahogany out from under him, but that ****'s way dry.

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Just so's you know, he wets the wood for the pics, and he knows how to use a flash to his advantage.

What would appear at your door would be a rather mild-brown looking wood.

I bought a huge piece from the same guy about 2 months ago. Still sitting here getting acclimated to my climate (west coast to east coast)

For the first 2-3 weeks, it was bending and warping and cupping up to 1/2" a day. It would cup itself about 1/2", I would flip it, and it would bend 1/2" the -other- way the next day. I flip it again, etc...

It's finally starting to settle down now somewhat. Mine is 2 years dry, still not ready to do anything with until it settles it's ass down for good. :D

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  • 3 years later...

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